EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – China is in a buying mood and they’re buying from the United States. This week the Chinese made their biggest corn buy from us in the past 6 months—just over 80 million bushels. But that’s not all. The Chinese have also made their largest ever ethanol purchase from the U.S.—200 million gallons during the first 6 months of 2021. The last time China came close to buying that much ethanol from us was in 2017 when they bought 198 million gallons. This new buy would make China one of the 3 largest buyers of U.S. ethanol and ethanol industry leaders are hopeful China will buy more of our ethanol during the second half of this year.
The proposed rule governing 2021 biofuel and 2022 biodiesel levels under the Renewable Fuels Standard has been has been withdrawn from the Office of Management and Budget for review. The rule had been at OMB since last May and the proposed levels were supposed to be decided by this past December and the rule finalized by June. But since it didn’t get done the Biden Administration is now reviewing any uncompleted regulations from the Trump Administration.
Spring planting will start soon in some of our southern states. So many of the commodity organizations are asking farmers what they’re going to plant this spring and on how many acres. IHA Markit Consultants is expecting farmers to plant 92.244 million corn acres this year. That would be about 3.4 million more than in 2020. They predict that will lead to yields of 15.66 billion bushels. They also expect farmers to plant just over 90 million acres of soybeans—up almost 7 million acres from last year. Their early soybean yield estimates are a record 4.638 billion bushels. IHS Markit also expects wheat acres to be up and cotton plantings to be down by about 570 thousand acres.
The new USDA leadership has announced that because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, they are going to temporarily suspend past due debt collections and foreclosures for distressed borrowers under the Farm Storage Facility Loan and the Direct Farm Loan Programs. They have also decided to extend the deadlines for producers to respond to loan servicing actions and they will also be more flexible with lenders to help them better service their customers. That decision should help about 12,000 borrowers through the Farm Service Agency.
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